A Grey day off Scarborough, Frank Henry Mason

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Jan van Goyen (1596-1656)

He was the son of a shoemaker and started as an apprentice in Leiden, the town of his birth. Like many Dutch painters of his time, Jan van Goyen studied art in the town of Haarlem with Esaias van de Velde.

At age 35, he established a permanent studio at Den Haag (The Hague). Crenshaw tells (and mentions the sources) that van Goyen's landscape paintings rarely fetched high prices, but he made up for the modest value of individual pieces by increasing his production, painting thinly and quickly with a limited palette of inexpensive pigments.

Despite his market innovations, he always sought more income, not only through related work as an art dealer and auctioneer but also by speculating in tulips and real estate. Although the latter was usually a safe avenue of investing money, in van Goyen's experience it led to enormous debts. Paulus Potter rented one of his houses. Though he seems to have kept a workshop, his only registered pupils were Nicolaes van Berchem, Jan Steen, and Adriaen van der Kabel. The list of painters he influenced is much longer.

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